Guava: rich in history and taste
Originating in several countries in Central and South America, from Mexico to Peru, and in the Caribbean, the guava takes its name from guaiaba, which simply means fruit in Arawak, the language spoken by the various peoples in the regions where the fruit was to be found in abundance. In fact, the Arawak-speaking Amerindians of the Bahamas were the first people of the Americas to come into contact with Christopher Columbus. Guava is part of the Myrtaceae (or myrtle) family, like eucalyptus. It is filled with a great many black seeds, which must be eliminated to make a purée that is particularly firm since the fruit is rich in pectin. It also has high levels of vitamins A, B and C, containing, for example, five times more vitamin C than an orange. With its very distinctive aroma and flavor, both fruity and vegetable-like, with a subtle balance of sweet and sour, it is the ideal fruit for a wide variety of mixes, with mandarins, strawberries or mangos, among others. It is used in sorbets and pastries, but also in chutneys and cocktails, such as the goyavlet of Reunion Island, the pulque of Central Mexico and the non-alcoholic aqua fresca in many Latin American countries. The world’s main producer is India, with over 40% of total output of nearly 50 million tons and it grows well in several countries, from Thailand to Brazil, via the Caribbean and, most recently, in southern parts of Spain.